TRENTON — Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner that provides $22.5 million in loans for dam repair and restoration projects across New Jersey was approved by the Senate on Monday. The funding comes from bond monies that have become available from repayments of older loans that get recirculated under a revolving loan program established by the Legislature in 2003.
“These repairs are needed to protect against flooding, which can damage or destroy property and could even be life threatening to those who get caught in flood waters,” said Turner (D-Mercer, Hunterdon). “We have to find ways to make smart investments in our infrastructure. The funding will come bill has the added benefit of not costing taxpayers any additional money because the funding comes from a revolving loan fund.”
The funding will provide loans for 14 dam projects, including a $1.25 million loan for the Honey Lake Dam in Hopewell Township. The lake was under threat to be drained unless the dam was fixed, prompting local homeowners to seek out a loan to protect the cherished waterway.
The Department of Environmental Protection accepted applications from dam owners which were then evaluated and prioritized so that high hazard dams are given the highest priority.
The bill, S-1649/A-3229, was previously approved by the Assembly. It now goes to the governor.